Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall

Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall is a museum at the south suburb of Nanjing to commemorate the 300,000 Chinese citizens and unarmed soldiers murdered from 6-week Japanese invasion atrocities in Nanjing in December 13th, 1937. It is built on the execution and mass burial site at Jiang Dong Men during the invasion.

This grey-marble stoned museum has undergone twice expansions since its construction in 1985 and mainly consists of three parts: the outdoor Square, victim remains viewing hall and historical document exhibits.

The outdoor Square gives the visitors the first shock of the miserable massacre in giant statues and sculptures of struggling human limbs, a full large wall with the victim name list, relief carvings, an atonement tablet and memorial walkway.

Strong disturbing effect of the massacre can be felt in the coffin-like victim remains viewing hall that display the massive excavated skeletal remains of some of the victims lying where they fell in.

In historical document exhibits, large quantity of the gruesome actual execution photos by foreign witnesses or the Japanese army photographers, the historical atrocities relics, and records of the victims and survivors, etc. make the unsettling feeling more intense. The 12-second section is even more soul-trembling: Near the exit there is a pool with a drop of water dripping into it every 12 seconds to symbolize the average frequency of a victim death during the six-week massacre. Each drop hits the water; a face on the wall is illuminated.

The stirring heart and mind can be soothed in the hope-filled Peace Park with the statues of peace-wishing woman and children, the victory embossment wall and the heavily-planted landscape.

This free-entrance historical museum with good Chinese, Japanese, English captions is worthy of a visit to know about what this city had got through and better understand where it is heading toward and how lives should be treated. If time suits, you can run into a series of activities like the religious assembly, the mourning anniversary ceremony to mourn the massacre victims and remember the history.